We left on Christmas Day, having celebrated
a day early to get a head start. It had snowed heavily in Belgrade that
night, so the roads were an adventure in town. Out in the countryside,
however, things seemed to move along very nicely.
Our first stop was Skopje, the capital
city of Macedonia. We read somewhere that the official name - The Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - is so unwieldy at the insistence of Greece
to avoid any potential territorial claims on historical Macedonia, which
is mostly in modern day Greece. So there.
We hit town right at the crazy evening
rush hour, got completely lost, had hungry kids in the backseat, and felt
the clutch in our car going out. Our trip was not off to an auspicious
After a night in the newest, ritziest hotel
in town (where we were the only guests in the entire 8 story building!),
Susan and the kids explored the old Turkish Quarter, with its bustling
shops, sidewalk stalls, and ancient fortifications while Dave got the car
fixed. The good news was that it was an easy repair, and so we continued
our trip south to Greece.